Thursday, August 8, 2019

Popularizing a Sport

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What sport did the LDS missionaries popularize in South Africa during the 1930s?
a.                   Basketball
b.                   Baseball
c.                   Football
d.                   Hockey
Yesterday’s answer:
C   Made it so Mormon Elders could conduct LDS funerals
From the life of Frederik Ferdinand Samuelsen:   In 1900 Bro. Samuelsen was chosen as a member of the city council in Aarhus (the second city in point of population in Denmark), which position he held continuously for seventeen and a half years. In 1906 he was elected a member of the Danish Rigsdag and was elected repeatedly after that with ever increasing majorities, notwithstanding strong opposition on the part of the Lutheran clergy, who insisted that it was a disgrace to the country that a “Mormon” should occupy a seat in the Danish Rigsdag, a position which was not held by any “Mormon” in any other country outside of the United States. Brother Samuelsen occupied his position in the Rigsdag until 1918. During the many years that he served in the Rigsdag he took advantage of every opportunity which presented itself to testify to the truth of “Mormonism” in the higher circles of Denmark. When a new law was being enacted in 1908, regulating the rules for conducting funerals, he succeeded in obtaining permission for “Mormon” Elders to conduct funerals for their own people and occupy the chapels used for that purpose, the same as the Lutheran clergy. When an attempt was made in 1912 to forbid “Mormon” Elders carrying on propaganda is Scandinavia, Elder Samuelsen took a bold stand in the Danish Rigsdag, protesting such a move, and declared that during the twenty years he had been a member of the “Mormon” Church he had associated with hundreds of “Mormon” missionaries, all of whom he knew possessed the best and noblest character, being universally known for their honesty and intelligence. The Church minister (Kirkeminister) gave a favorable decision, but felt humiliated to think that not one of the seven Lutheran priests who served in the Danish Rigsdag had opened his mouth in opposition to Samuelsen when he called the “Mormon” Elders good and honorable men. In 1913 Elder Samuelsen again had occasion to defend the “Mormon” missionaries when they were falsely accused of siding the so-called “white slavery.” He called boldly for even a single proof in connection with the accusations, but none such was forthcoming. It ended with a declaration from the king’s cabinet that the accusation against the “Mormons” was entirely unfounded. When in 1914 a certain high official (Herredsfoged) in Jutland forbid two “Mormon” missionaries to hold one of their usual religious services, Elder Samuelsen referred the case to the minister of justice, which led to that official receiving a severe reprimand for having interfered with religious liberty. During the time of the World War Brother Samuelsen found it necessary on many occasions to use his influence with the king’s cabinet in obtaining permission for Norwegian and Swedish missionaries belonging to the “Mormon” Church to visit their relatives in Denmark. When the Elders from Utah were called home, owing to war conditions, Brother Samuelsen was called as a local Elder to preside over the Aarhus conference, which position he held for about eight months, during which time he visited the different branches in the conference repeatedly. He held this position until he emigrated in May, 1919.
Andrew Jensen, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, (Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1971), 3: 707-708.

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